It’s easy to recognize ants. Narrow waists, bulbous abdomens and elbowed antennae. In most cases when you observe them, you are only seeing the workers, which are all female.
Theyy live underground, in dead wood or sometimes in plant cavities. Most of them are black, brown, tan or red.
They are social insects. Ant colonies divide labour between sterile workers, queen and male reproductives. Winged queens and males, also called alates, fly in swarms to mate. Once they have mate, queens lose their wings and establish a new nest site. The males will unfortunately die. The workers tend to the colony’s offspring. Even rescuing the pupae should the nest be disturbed.
The all-female workforce will gather food, constructs the nest and keeps the colony clean.
The complete process of them may take from 6 weeks to 2 months. Fertilized eggs always produce females while unfertilized eggs produce males. The queen can control the sex of her offspring by choosing to fertilize the eggs with sperm.
White and legless larvae hatch from eggs. Completely dependent on worker ants for their care. The workers feed the larvae with regurgitated food. In some species, pupae look like colourless, immobile adults. In others, pupae spin a cocoon. New adults may take several days to darken into their final colour.
Ants have one of the most diverse diets. These opportunistic feeders eat almost anything. But, some prefer protein based food while others more on carb based food. Most of them have a fondness for sweet things. They have a central ingredient in their diet called honey dew. Honey dew is a sweet and sticky secretion produce by aphids.
Type of Ants
- Weaver Ant
- Fruit Ant
- Ghost Ant
- Pharaoh Ant
- Crazy Ant
- Fire Ant
- Carpenter ant
Sign of ants infestation
Ants can look so harmless. You see them crawling around and think nothing much of it. However, before you know it, there are everywhere. Most times, people only take notice of them once it is too late. Leaving an unattended food on the table for 5 mins and you see them start feeding on it. Or you start seeing them in your bed room. This is normally their last place to harbour as the main food comes from the kitchen. Spot them early.
You see a trail of ants. Some entering cracks and crevices. Ants lay down a pheromone trails that enable other to follow them to any food source.
Large number of live presence
You start seeing them everywhere. Leaving an unattended food is not possible anymore.
Ants can live in any crack or crevices and you find them in a small pile of soil or dirt.